It took my body a long time to get used to the jolts and crunches of last night's train and it took my legs and feet a long time to recover from yesterday's walking so I didn't get to sleep till well after midnight. One of my two compartment companions left the train at 6am so by the time I woke for my own day, my excitement at visiting Warsaw was at only 90%.
I dumped my bag at my base for the next three days and set out in the general direction of the Old Town. I discovered later that quite by chance I was walking down the 'Royal Route', highly recommended to tourists. No wonder I was impressed. But much more impressed (for which read stunned) to register that almost the whole of the Old Town was defiantly and lovingly rebuilt after the Nazis demolished 85% of Warsaw in retaliation for the 1944 Uprising. Eighty-five per cent. Walking from an elegant 16th century street into the elegant 16th Castle Square where a trumpeter was playing a Varsovian trumpet call from one of the towers, I found it very hard to imagine that this royal palace was not just repaired but completely rebuilt between 1971 and 1985.
I walked out of the city walls to the New Town which, having been less damaged than the Old Town, is actually older, then down to the Vistula and upriver to the modern university library where I'd been told I mustn't miss the roof garden. Advice: you can give it a miss, though the frontage - turned green from copper oxide running off the roof - and the light-filled lobby of the library are worth a second glance.
And back to my room where I fell asleep trying to look at a map.
The timing, though not the reason for my visit is that Son flew into in Warsaw this morning for this year's International Grand Beatbox Battle and will be free for four days next week. He has much more interesting things to do this weekend than spend time with me, but he phoned me this evening suggesting that we went for a meal. Although our respective accommodation was arranged completely independently - his through the beatbox community and mine by me - it turns out that in a city with a population of 1.7 million, we are staying 5 minutes' walk from each other.
I've now added yesterday's extras - the Communism Memorial and some 'cordon bleu' burger(')s - and a little more text, and there are three extras today. None of the pretty stuff because that's already all over google images, but things that caught my eye.
Please forgive sparse commenting at the moment.
- Olympus E-M5MarkII